Longboarders put their skills to the test as they competed in last year’s Giant’s Head Freeride.

Longboarders to meet at Giant’s Head

The Giant's Head Freeride from July 31 to Aug. 1 will attract longboarders from around North America.

An outside observer could describe the Giant’s Head Freeride July 31 through Aug 1 in two possible ways.

On one hand, it is a longboard race that features mostly but not exclusive young men riding down the mountain on what appears to be nothing more than a long narrow piece of wood attached to four small wheels.

From top to bottom, they will have travelled 2.1 kilometres of paved road, turning 13 times on their way towards dropping 213 vertical metres from where they started to the finish line.

The race itself will attract about 100 racers from around North America, with about five to 10 coming from the local region.

By way of background, a longboard is a longer skateboard used primarily for downhill racing. Since longboards are longer than traditional skateboards, they are heavier. Therefore they generate more momentum, a substantial advantage in racing. Their greater length and different design elements such softer wheels also make them more suitable for turns comparable to the turns that surfers and snowboarders can make.

But these concrete aspects of the race only hint at its more sublime elements. The event appears to be foremost a dare, an attempt to antagonize the laws of physics.

In way, it is an act of defiance, a metaphysical middle finger to widely-held instincts and intuitions about what is safe and what is not.

As Giant’s Head Freeride organizer Andrew Monaghan says, “you need to be quite confident on a long-board” to participate in the race. “It is a very step hill,” he  says. “Being able to control your speed is the number one priority.”

This ethos of the extraordinary shines through on sites like unkle.ca that host various electronic accounts of long-board races like the one coming to Summerland. They are in a word, hair-raising, in showing actual races as well as hints of their aftermath such as the sight of a young man, bloodied but defiant after a race.

Monaghan acknowledges that longboarding carries its risks, but notes that organizers are doing everything to make sure things go off without any major incidents.

“Safety is a priority concern and we have taken every precaution to make sure riders are safe,” he says, adding that each race has to wear a helmet and gloves.

For more info, check out www.giantsheadfreeride.com

 

Just Posted

Boil water notice lifted for some residents on the west side of Okanagan Lake

Two-hundred and seventy property owners in the Westshoe Estates Subdivision can now safely drink their water again

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

ELECTION 2019: Here are the results from our 12 B.C. races to watch

Incumbents mostly won our 12 key races, but there were a few upsets too

Okanagan inmate charged in Princeton kidnapping gets second trial extension

Afshin Maleki Ighani said he was unprepared for trial due to issues around a full disclosure package

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Hundreds attend first annual climate and food conference in Kelowna

Over 25 industry experts spoke at the two-day event

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

South Okanagan man charged following armed standoff gets bail

Information on the proceedings is limited due to publication ban

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Behind the blue and white Carnival clown mask

Toshie Okada is named October’s Respect Works Here Community Champion

Most Read